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Tennis: King Steps Down as US Fed Cup Coach - 2003-12-23

Women's tennis great Billie Jean King is stepping down as coach of the United States Fed Cup women's tennis team. Former veteran player Zina Garrison will lead the squad next season.

King is stepping aside after leading the United States to three Fed Cup titles since 1995. But her tenure also was marked by conflicts with players. She will stay on as an assistant coach, the same position Garrison held since 1999.

Garrison, the 1990 Wimbledon runner-up, was appointed for one year by the president of the U.S. Tennis Association. Her hiring is expected to be announced officially later Tuesday. The 40-year-old Garrison becomes the country's first black Fed Cup captain in the event's 40-year history. The United States plays host Slovenia in the first round of the 2004 Fed Cup on April 24 and 25. The Americans lost to France in the 2003 final. That U.S. team was depleted by injuries and player disagreements with King, leaving it without such stars as Venus and Serena Williams, Jennifer Capriati and Lindsay Davenport.